Thursday, January 14, 2016

They have been told for years that same-sex marriage is the end of the world and now they believe it

End of the world

Reading the hundreds of feeds that I aggregate and touring religious conservative sites with one of my alter-egos, it has become abundantly clear that a section of society simply cannot accept the simple fact that the Supreme Court's ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges settles the issue absent a constitutional amendment. It is utter disbelief. Seemingly sane, intelligent people driven off a cliff to irrationality.

I understand why people can be opposed to reproductive choice. They see the fetus as a human life that is being killed. That defies science and even logic but I understand the concern. Take the religious crackpots out of the equation and we can have a rational debate. When it comes to marriage equality, however, I have absolutely no empathy for, or understanding of, the opposition. I suspect that they signed on to the rhetoric of guys like Tony Perkins and now they cannot employ some critical thinking when it comes to evaluating the effect of gay marriage.

Even if one is devout with respect to the teachings of the Catholic Church it should suffice simply to follow those teachings themselves. It makes less sense to attack gays after Obergefell than it would to have attacked Jews after the Civil Rights Act in 1964. Folks like Robert George and Ryan Anderson have been selling a parade of horribles which the faithful subscribed to. Now they cannot cancel those subscriptions in spite of the fact that these things never happened in Massachusetts or Spain or anywhere else where gays have the freedom to marry.

I caught a quote from Brian Brown within a LifesiteNews piece regarding the State of the Union address.
The reference to a highly contested, 5-4 Supreme Court decision infuriated pro-family advocates.

“The Republican leadership ought to set aside an empty chair in the front of the chamber to represent the more than 50 million Americans whose votes in support of traditional marriage were stolen by … an anti-constitutional, illegitimate ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court,” said Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage. “It's a national insult that President Obama would celebrate such an affront to democracy.”
LifesiteNews, an ultra-orthodox Catholic outlet, titled the piece: “Embracing homosexuality is America’s future, Obama says in State of the Union.” Almost all Supreme Court cases are “highly contested” and 5-4 decisions are the usual outcome. This espouses yet another theory to delegitimize the ruling that it is somehow less the law of the land because of the margin of the decision. As for Mr. Brown, he is spouting nonsense as if Marbury v. Madison never happened. There are decisions by the Supreme Court that I do not like (Heller and Citizens United come to mind). However all of those decisions are legitimate and constitutional.

People in comment forums (including here) have embraced numerous crackpot theories like Congress can simply pass DOMA II. “Where is homosexual marriage in the constitution?” They whine as if their legal opinion makes a difference. There are legions of those who believe that the ruling is illegitimate because of Tenth Amendment theories while brushing aside the ruling in Marbury v. Madison that has been precedent for more than 200 years. They have memorized portions of Scalia's dissent without considering that Scalia is airing the losing arguments; those that failed to persuade four other justices.

Then there are the prayer warriors. Cardinal Burke (the guy that got sidelined by Pope Francis for his right wing extremist views) is “storming heaven” with a million faithful praying the Rosary on the first of each month. If, in fact, their god is omnipotent and is so offended by the ruling and can reverse it then why did he allow it in the first place? Why did he allow it in France, England, Spain, Ireland and so on? The faithful do not ask these questions.

Many see this as a struggle comparable to their ability to obstruct Roe v. Wade. There is no way to chip away at this like they have done with Roe. Reproductive choice has many moving parts to meddle with. Marriage is simple. Either people are going to get a license in conformity with the Supreme Court's decision or they are not. Federal courts must enforce Obergefell (it is the law of the land) and issue injunctions if anyone interferes with our constitutional right to marry. On this issue the most conservative federal judge in Texas must arrive at the same ruling as the most liberal judge in New York. In spite of all of the offensive noise from Roy Moore, virtually every probate judge in Alabama is following a federal court order and issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.

Personally I do not think that Obergefell will change even if a Republican president upsets the balance of the Court. As I have explained a new case has to make its way through the courts and Article III standing is a bitch. In fact more conservative justices are likely to be sticklers for standing. Who could assert that they were injured by marriage equality? What form could that injury possibly have? How would reversing a precedent be the only logical remedy?

Somewhere here, in a comment, Austin Ruse asserted that Kim Davis would have standing. Not a chance. If she was injured (she wasn't) it was by the lack of a religious accommodation (which she was not entitled to), not same-sex marriage. Even if one got past that point, the remedy is an accommodation, not a reversal of Obergefell.

A Democratic victory in November should put the final stake in the hearts of the dead-enders. Assuming that Hillary becomes the Democratic candidate (and I think that she will in spite of a recent surge by Bernie) we need to make sure that every Sanders supporter goes to the polls and votes for HRC. Marriage aside, these Republican lunatics would continue where Bush, II left off, and then some. They would decimate what little is left of a fragile middle class. If we can get enough people to vote we have a chance to change Congress as well.

I know. Rep. Gohmert's constituents will continue to vote for Gohmert in spite of the fact that he is demonstrably a mindless fuckwit. Sometimes it is all rather depressing but we can make a difference, and we have! I have tremendous respect for John McCain but I am spectacularly content that he was not giving his final State of the Union address on Tuesday with Sarah Palin seated behind him. Sarah fucking Palin. What were they thinking?

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